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2014 Events

We have a great series of events coming up and we keep adding on, so do check regularly! See when our book groups are meeting and what they're reading and meet our many visiting authors - there really is something for everyone. And if you can't make it to the event, just send us an email or give us a call and we can get a book signed for you - no problem!

TAD PFEFFER, author of Hand of the Small-Town Builder:  

Tuesday, September 23, 6:30 p.m.
Slide show presentation with TAD PFEFFER, author of Hand of the Small-Town Builder: Summer Houses of Northern New England, 1876-1930

A geophysicist, teacher and photographer from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Pfeffer has written a thoroughly researched and thoughtfully photographed book about the craftsmen who built the homes we still see today.

Northern New England in the late nineteenth century saw an explosion of what we now call "new home construction." The railroads had opened up the mountains to tourists while steamers regularly plied the coast. The concept of a paid summer vacation was gaining traction, and families, both rich and poor, were eager to rusticate in small villages where, close to nature, they would enjoy the blessings of a salubrious climate. Middle-class families could afford to build homes, and since their budgets precluded "name" architects, the need was answered by native builders, talented craftsmen familiar with the local resources who could draw the basic lines, muster and supervise a building crew, and meet the needs of clients. These weren't the fancy summer "cottages" of Newport or Bar Harbor, but simple structures erected on modest budgets for comfortable summer living. Many were, and still appear, very beautiful, and the best examples are shown in this striking survey of houses built by self-taught architects whose work survives as testaments to their skill.

The men behind the developments were far more than builders; they acted as land speculators, developers, and architects. They ran the typical three-man crews, house-sat over the winter, and were the liaisons with the "summer people" who would arrive in June and leave in early September. The houses they built were sensitive to the local topography and connected to the landscape as masterpieces of vernacular design. From the seacoast and islands of Maine to the hill towns, lakes, and rivers of Vermont and New Hampshire, Pfeffer has thoroughly researched and thoughtfully photographed the best examples. His text is rich with history and commentary. Far more than a pretty picture book, this is a scholarly and richly documented survey of master craftsmen whose subtle but powerful influence on the northern New England landscape is poignantly recorded in these pages.

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No Limits But the Sky: The Best Mountaineering Stories from Appalachia Journal   Saturday, September 27, 3-5 p.m.
An afternoon with CHRISTINE WOODSIDE, editor of No Limits But the Sky: The Best Mountaineering Stories from Appalachia Journal

Hot off the presses – we are getting the book before it even goes to the warehouse! – this is a last-minute event addition, but well worth your attention. Christine Woodside has been the editor of Appalachia journal since 2005. The defining ordeal that qualified her for this work was probably her thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in a single season. She has climbed all of the 4000-footers of the White Mountains, many of them multiple times, and she continues to backpack and run on trails so she can keep up with the journal’s contributors.

No Limits But the Sky collects the twenty-five most riveting, real-life adventures from Appalachia, America’s oldest mountaineering and conservation journal. Each of these essays, published from 1877 to the present, chronicles a tale of explorers who push the limits – of endurance, weather, altitude or personal achievement. Some of these explorers make history, such as the first American climber to ascend Kilimanjaro in 1932; others, such as the leader of an 1896 team attempting a first ascent of Canada’s Mount Lefroy, never return. Freak accidents, legendary perseverance and singularly colorful personalities as well as climbing luminaries such as Bradford Washburn, Elizabeth Knowlton and Fritz Wiessner, all figure into this fascinating, illustrated collection.

Flight of the Sparrow  

Thursday, October 30, 7 p.m.
The 2014 One Book One Valley culminates its 9th year with a visit from AMY BELDING BROWN, author of Flight of the Sparrow, to the Lutheran Church in North Conway (right across the street from the bookstore.)

Imagine if folks throughout Mount Washington Valley read the same book. Then talked about it. And THEN got to come together to meet the author at a special valley-wide event. One Book One Valley will mark its ninth year in 2014, reading and discussing Flight of the Sparrow by Amy Belding Brown.

On a bitter winter morning in 1676, the Puritan minister's wife, Mary Rowlandson, is captured by Indians. Her home destroyed and her children lost to her, she becomes a pawn in the bloody struggle between English settlers and the indigenous people. Battling cold, hunger, and exhaustion, she witnesses harrowing brutality but also unexpected kindness. To her own surprise, she is drawn to her captors' straightforward way of life, and when the opportunity comes to be ransomed back to the English, she begins to wonder if she will ever fit into colonial society again.

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